Congratulations are in order to former Lieutenant Governor and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge, one of four women to be inducted to the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame at the State Historical Building on August 24. The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women selects four women for the honor each year. You can read about all the hall of famers here.
After the jump I’ve posted an excerpt from the commission’s announcement, including short bios of Judge and the three other inductees for 2013: Dr. Mary Louise Sconiers Chapman, a superstar advocate for vulnerable populations; Barbara Mack, a journalism legend who passed away last year; and Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, who has advocated for education and social justice as an attorney as well as a medical doctor.
This year’s winner of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women’s Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice is Sharon Malheiro, founder and board president of the LGBT advocacy group One Iowa. As an attorney, Malheiro has represented employers in several important workplace discrimination cases as well as being involved in Iowa’s most notable court cases relating to marriage equality. Her short bio is after the jump as well. You can view the list of past Cristine Wilson Medal recipients here. Governor Terry Branstad won in 1999, shortly after he retired from politics.
From the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women’s August 14 news release:
Dr. Mary Louise Sconiers Chapman
Dr. Mary Louise Sconiers Chapman’s relentless dedication to underrepresented and underserved Iowans has opened the door for many to obtain previously limited resources in the areas of continued education, economic advancement and housing. Chapman joined Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in 1990 and was the first woman to serve as an executive dean at the college. She went on to become the vice president of community and workforce partnerships. Through her work at DMACC, Chapman has created programs for women and at-risk youth, including the establishment of face-to-face college credit programs for the inmates at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville; engineered strategic partnerships to support Des Moines Public Schools’ Teacher Quality Program, which successfully placed dozens of minority teachers in Des Moines; and worked to develop the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families in Des Moines, a first-of-its-kind, community-based, integrated service delivery partnership between education, business and community that connects families and individuals with education, support services, career pathways and employment. She has served dozens of community and statewide boards and other civic organizations, including chair of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and past president of both – The Links, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Young Women’s Resource Center Visionary Woman Award, The YWCA Women of Achievement Award, Iowa African American Hall of Fame and the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award. She was born in Chancellor, Alabama, in 1948 and has lived in Des Moines for 44 years.
Patty Jean Poole Judge
Born in Ft. Madison in 1943 and raised in Albia, Iowa, Patty Jean Poole Judge began her career in Albia as a registered nurse and as a partner with her husband in a Monroe County farming operation. She purchased her parents’ real estate business in the early 1980s. As she built the business, Judge became aware of the looming farm crisis. She soon began helping hundreds of farm families and their creditors find solutions to financial troubles through the Iowa Farmer Creditor Mediation Service, which led her to be a strong advocate for rural families. Active both in her community and throughout southern Iowa, Judge was elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992 and re-elected in 1996. In 1998, she became the first woman elected Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and was re-elected in 2002. During her administration renewable energy grew to become an integral part of Iowa’s economy, new international markets for agricultural products were developed, Iowa’s wine industry began to flourish and the swine disease ‘Pseudorabies’ was eradicated from Iowa hog herds. In 2006, Judge was elected Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor, serving with Governor Chet Culver. During her term in office she also served the state as the Homeland Security Advisor and was instrumental in coordinating critical response operations during the historic floods of 2008. While in office she worked to create a task force designed to address issues of racial disparity in Iowa prisons, took a critical look at gender gap in wages and championed the expansion of the state’s children’s health insurance program and wellness programs. Since leaving the state capitol in January 2011, Judge has created a consulting company and has assisted many candidates in their bids for elected office.
Barbara Marie Mack
Barbara Marie Mack was a journalist, lawyer and teacher who shattered glass ceilings, inspired women and gave generously to many people throughout her life. Born in Des Moines in 1952, she put herself through college in just three years, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with Phi Beta Kappa academic honors in journalism from Iowa State University in 1974. Long before college, Mack was at home in a newsroom. She started as a copy courier at age 16 with the Des Moines Register and Tribune, then rose to reporter after graduation, blazing a trail for Register women covering courts and crime news. From those earliest days, she was passionate about First Amendment issues. She helped found the Iowa Freedom of Information Council in 1975. Her growing interest in the law drew her to Drake University Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor in 1977. By 1982, at age 29, Mack became the Register and Tribune Company’s first female corporate secretary and general counsel, making her the highest-ranking woman in Register corporate history and its youngest executive. After overseeing the sale of the company to Gannett interests, she was counsel at the Davis Law Firm briefly before returning to Iowa State University as a professor in journalism and mass communications. While at ISU, she taught classes ranging from basic to advanced and was a teacher, academic advisor, mentor and role model for thousands of students over a 25-year career; but Mack also made it a personal priority to tutor students who needed to pass the fundamental language usage exam required for entry into the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communications. She died in 2012, mourned by family, friends and those many students who have taken her lessons to heart. Her legacy is a generation of young people, particularly women, poised to have positive impacts on Iowa and on the world beyond.
Deborah Ann Turner
While growing up in Mason City, Dr. Deborah Ann Turner often heard her mother say, “There is only one race: the human race.” And her father always told her, “I never met a stranger.” Turner has lived by those words since her birth in 1950. Turner was the first African-American woman to integrate a sorority at Iowa State University, be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the specialty of gynecologic oncology and be hired as a gynecological oncologist at the University of Nebraska, University of Iowa and Medical College of Wisconsin. In 2000, Turner moved to Des Moines and became director of gynecologic oncology at Mercy Cancer Center, where she currently continues her practice. At that time Turner decided she could have greater impact on health policies, as well as education and social justice issues, if she had a law degree. So she studied nights and weekends to obtain a Juris Doctorate degree, all the while maintaining her medical practice. In addition to making contributions in her field of medicine, Turner has made civic responsibility a high priority, including on the Iowa Board of Regents, where she served until 2005 (while simultaneously pursuing her law degree), and as vice president of the League of Women Voters of Iowa and president for the Metro League of Women Voters in Des Moines. She continues to educate as a clinical professor at Des Moines University Medical School and as adjunct clinical faculty at the University of Iowa. She has expanded her medical mission to work in Tanzania with Outreach, Inc., a nondenominational non-governmental organization out of Union, Iowa. She has found this work rewarding and humbling; however, her greatest commitment is to her son Daniyel and niece Danielle.
2013 Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice
Sharon Malheiro has worked tirelessly for civil rights in Iowa, leading the campaign for marriage equality in the state. As a senior shareholder at the Davis Brown Law Firm, she practices in the areas of employment law, including employment discrimination, litigation and corporate employment policies and practices, as well as media and communication law. In 1991, Malheiro was appointed by the Iowa Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Task Force on Gender and Racial Bias in the Judicial System. After the completion of the Task Force’s report, she was asked to serve as a member of the Iowa Supreme Court’s Monitoring Committee, which was charged with ensuring that the recommendations made by the Task Force were implemented. In 2003, Malheiro acted as co-counsel for Alons v. Woodbury County, which upheld a district court decision dissolving the Vermont civil union of a same-sex couple. In 2009, she served as an expert witness in Varnum v. Brien, a landmark case that declared the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Additionally, Malheiro served as co-counsel in Gartner v. Iowa Department of Public Health, which ruled Iowa parents in same-sex marriages must be allowed to have both of their names listed on their child’s birth certificate, consistent with Iowa’s spousal presumption of parentage. Malheiro founded One Iowa in 2005, a statewide organization seeking full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iowans, and currently chairs the One Iowa board. She also provides pro bono legal counsel for Aids Project of Central Iowa and is one of the cooperating attorneys for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.